Go win these gift cards.

th6 Go win these gift cards.Whenever I see a chance to win gift cards I tend to enter. Sometimes I even win.

Whenever I see a chance for readers to win gift cards, I tend to share. Here are two chances to win Home Depot and Amazon.com cards. The former is pretty easy; the latter takes a bit of work but there’s a chance at a pretty decent payoff.

Savings.com will be giving away $3,000 worth of Home Depot e-gift cards today through Wednesday. Between 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. EDT each day, go to the Home Depot page at Savings.com and enter your e-mail address.

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th9 Free money for staying put.I am officially an Alaskan once more: The state has determined me eligible to receive the 2014 Permanent Fund Dividend.

During my previous residence here (1984-2001) we used to joke that the PFD checks paid for our obligatory visits to visit family back on the East Coast. Now that I’m on a tighter budget, I’m going to follow the sage advice of Liz Weston: Keep 10 percent for whatever you want, and send the rest where it can do some good.

In my case that means 90 percent will wind up in my Roth IRA. The rest? We’ll see.

How much money are we talking? The ballpark estimate for 2014 is $1,800. That’s a lot of money just for staying put.

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th6 150x150 Want a $100 Amazon card? Join this TweetchatA watched pot never boils, but an unwatched pot full of raspberries and rhubarb can make a real mess of your stovetop.

Yep, I’m back from Florida and I’m making yogurt. And messes.

I didn’t get home until 1 a.m. Tuesday and was so glad to be on the ground I didn’t care that it was covered with snow. Total time between waking up in Tarpon Springs, Florida and getting into my own bed in Anchorage: 23 hours. Alaska is really far away from a lot of places.

Since then I’ve been scrambling to play catch-up with several different projects (including multiple interviews for one of them), so I have neither time nor inclination to write something deeply meaningful. However, I wanted to do a quick roundup.

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51PYxmmqqGL. AA300  150x150 Pay your taxes like the rich.In a recent post called “How to be a side-gigger” I noted that the four books mentioned in the article would eventually go up as giveaways.

Here’s the first one: “Outsmarting the System: Lower Your Taxes, Control Your Future and Reach Financial Freedom.”  

Written by former IRS auditor Anthony Campidonica, the slim volume explains several ways that ordinary people can use a group of tax benefits, i.e., those for the self-employed. You could be an entrepreneur (full- or part-time), a landlord or an investor.

What if you don’t have the wherewithal to open a store, buy a rental property or invest like the pros? Start small, the author advises. Sell your expertise or a product on the side vs. quitting your day job and diving in. Or save up for that foreclosure or repo and go the renovation-and-rental route in your off hours.

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9751250 150x150 Liz Weston wants to give you her books.Personal finance writer Liz Weston is giving away two of her best-selling books to five lucky winners. Maybe one of them will be you, if you enter the drawing before Friday.

Each will receive both “The 10 Commandments of Money: Survive and Thrive in the New Economy” and “Your Credit Score: How to Improve the 3-Digit Number That Shapes Your Financial Future.”

Head over to this post on AskLizWeston.com to sign up. All you have to do is leave a comment on the post.

Newbies take note: Since Liz moderates all comments, it may take a little while for yours to show up if you’ve never left one before. Be patient.

The winners will be selected on Friday evening. Watch your inbox because Liz, like me, is a tough-love kind of gal: If she doesn’t hear back from you by noon PST on Monday, she’ll draw another winner.

Frugal tip: One or both books would make a good graduation gift.

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